The Life of Olaudah Equianations Study



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The Life of Olaudah Equiano


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The Life of Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano was born in Essaka located in Nigeria. He  was sold to the West Indies as a slave and later freed. He was kidnapped while he was eleven years with his sister. After being taken to the Western Indies, he relocated to Virginia, where he was purchased by Michael Henry Pascal, the sea captain. As a result, he managed to travel widely. Buying his freedom, he later settled in England and took the role of an active abolitionist and lectured people against the cruelty the British slave owners subjected slaves. His autobiography publication was aided by some British abolitionists who collected evidence from the enslaved people, providing clear evidence of the sufferings they endured. He is believed to be the source of the slavery narrative since he provided firsthand information on slavery. In his slavery endurance, many things helped him survive his situation emotionally, physically and intellectually.

After being separated from his sister, meeting with the chieftain offered him emotional support since he met him in a charming country and, in return, got introduced to his two wives where the chieftain’s children used him as their own (Equiano, 2009). Also, they did everything to ensure he was comforted, with the first wife being almost similar to his mother. Also, the people spoke a similar language to his native language, and as a result, he could understand and converse with them well, in return getting a sense of comfort. Besides, not eating with the free-born children helped him strengthen his liberty, although they used to give him company.

Besides, his early childhood life helped him survive the mess while he was employed in assisting an older woman take care of her poultry. After tossing a pebble and killing one of the chickens, he knew he would be flogged like his mother used to do while he was young. As a result, this helped him escape the fury of the villages by escaping to the nearest bush since the mistress had been informed (Equiano, 2009). Also, the life he experienced during his journey with his sister helped him survive while he was in the escape since he was used to pain and hunger in the past. This enabled him in coping up with the life he had to endure while hiding. Besides, the hiding helped him survive peoples wrath after running. The old slave woman could not believe it if it were him, and as a result, he was able to be forgiven after the woman reported to the mistress hence better treatment as it was ordered.

Also, being sold for the second time to the sea coast, he found out the language was not so similar to the European language but having acquired three different languages as he journeyed through Africa helped him in understanding all the difference exhibited in English, which these people spoke (Equiano, 2009). Besides, coming to this sea coast helped him emotionally since it was here where he happened to meet his sister, who he had been separated from for a long time. Meeting his sister got him overwhelmed, and as a result, he could feel his painful experiences gone since seeing his sister alive and healthy was the happiest experience ever in his life.

After shipping to Tinmah, the third destination, Here, he tasted his first coconuts and sugarcane. Also, in this place, he encountered a wealthy widow with only one son who was introduced to him and depending on how he was treated, and he thought the family would adopt him and make him their own. Since he was the eldest, the widows’ son would not eat before he ate, and as a result, this gave him some sense of comfort (Equiano, 2009). Also, the language which these households spoke was similar to his language, and he could understand everything. Also, having the skills of throwing bows and arrows from his young age helped him perfectly sport with the widows’ son. After getting to the point of forgetting he was a slave, things changed abruptly, and he immediately switched to his previous sorrow and grief. With him being used to the sorrowful life in his travel, he was able to adapt quite well, although he had to suffer.

Also, his hard experiences helped him deal with the whites, especially where he expresses their cruelty in the fishing grounds where they are throwing the fish back in the sea rather than giving them to the slaves. The other captives who enquired about the fish received some floggings since they were not expected to do so (Equiano, 2009). With these hardships, Olaudah Equiano was able to endure since all along, he had endured a lot of sufferings on his journey to the new world, and as a result, these sufferings helped him endure the hard life he encountered.

In conclusion, Olaudah Equiano suffered slavery after getting kidnapped by his sister. On his journey, he encountered a lot of suffering, and as a result, many factors helped him survive all the way. For example, meeting the chieftains two wives and the second wife with his son comforting him helped him survive as it helped him emotionally. Also, hiding after messing up with the widow’s poultry farm helped him escape physical abuse from the villagers. Meeting the widow and the son and similarly treating him to his customs gave him a sense of comfort. Also, learning three more languages on his journey helped him converse well on his journey.









Equiano, O. (2009). The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus            Vassa, the African. Prabhat Prakashan.

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